Anu Partanen

Anu Partanen is a journalist originally from Finland, now based in New York City. She has lived in the United States since 2008, and her work has appeared in the New York Times and The Atlantic and Fortune Magazine. Her book "The Nordic Theory of Everything: In Search of a Better Life" compares everyday life in the United States with life in the Nordic region.

1. Espoo’s Waterfront Bike Path and Walkway

In recent years Helsinki and its neighboring city of Espoo have added fantastic new walkways and bike paths, and this one is my favorite: Espoo’s Waterfront Walkway. You can start your walk or ride from downtown Helsinki and move along the shore through beautiful coastal scenery, soon leaving behind the city traffic and entering a realm of quiet groves and beaches. You can stop every now and then at a seaside cafe to drink a coffee, or at a charming cove to take a swim on one of the many public beaches, or take a small ferry to some nearby islands. Get a map with the bike routes from the tourist information office on the Esplanade downtown and then you’ll be on your way.
Download Map
Outdoor Recreation Areas

2. Mekkomania

One of my dearest friends, Mari, fulfilled her longtime dream when she opened her own vintage shop. The store is located in Kallio, and the name, Mekkomania, literally means “Dress Mania.” She always has a great selection of women’s clothes and accessories from the 1930s to the 1980s, and she specializes in vintage Finnish fashion. You can always find vintage treasures from brands like Marimekko and Vuokko there.
Fleminginkatu 12 b
Mekkomania Facebook

3. B-Side Bar

Teurastamo (literally “the Slaughterhouse”) area in Kalasatama used to be full of warehouses and wholesale operations, but now it hosts restaurants, bars, and the Sideways music festival. In summer when the Nordic sky stays light long into the evening, the outdoor patios there can stay open all night. My personal favorite hangout in Teurastamo is the B-Side Bar, with its barebones look and green tiles left over from the worker’s sauna that used to exist in its space. The bar is owned by local filmmakers, and it specializes in American whiskey. Top-notch authentic barbecue is served from its neighboring sibling restaurant the B-Smokery. Staff at the bar is truly international.
Työpajankatu 2
B-Side Bar Facebook
B-Smokery Facebook Photo: Kristiina Wilson